Council helps community centre find new home

In the sports hall at 4 Marlow Road this week are, left to right, Councillor Andrew Johnson, Maidenhead Community Centre trustee Dean Yorke, Councillor Geoff Hill and centre trustee Jack Douglas.

Maidenhead Community Centre has relocated to a bigger and better home after the council worked with the organisation to help it find new premises.

The centre had been based in the King George VI building in York Road, Maidenhead and has now moved to 4 Marlow Road nearby.

Its new site is situated next to Kidwells Park and provides over 6,000 sq ft of space, dedicated facilities - including sports hall and dance studio - good access and availability of car parking.

The centre’s former home will be redeveloped as part of the York Road regeneration project with 51 homes, including 17 affordable properties.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, leader of the council and cabinet member for business, economic development and property, said: “This a real success story and I’m delighted that we have been able to work with the centre to relocate it to better premises than it had previously and, importantly, to one which caters to its needs.

“Considerable thought and work went into finding a suitable building where the centre can continue to perform its activities in a location which is easily accessible to users.

“The site is more spacious, has good parking and we now have a local community group managing this important community asset. The council also worked with the existing users of the Marlow Road site to ensure their needs could still be accommodated.

“The relocation of the centre creates an opportunity to deliver additional housing, including new affordable housing, within the borough.

“This is part of a wider plan to regenerate Maidenhead as we build a borough of opportunity and innovation, reaffirming our commitment to support the local economy following the coronavirus pandemic.”

Trustee Dean Yorke said: “The trustees, volunteers, customers, hirers and everyone involved with Maidenhead Community Centre are absolutely delighted with this outcome, after a long campaign and much negotiation.

“Our new home is an excellent building with many more attractive facilities for us to offer. We look forward to welcoming residents to our new community centre.”

The centre is currently in the process of moving across to its new site, but some hirers have already been able to take advantage of the new facilities. The centre hopes to be fully operational by the autumn.

Mr Yorke added: “We are extremely grateful and will do our very best to repay the trust invested in us. Our aim is to outdo the work we have done at York Road, for the benefit of all Maidenhead residents. We believe you have set us up to succeed.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Councillor Geoff Hill and Councillor Andrew Johnson for this outcome. Cllr Hill was instrumental in helping us from the start, when we thought we had no future. Cllr Hill then introduced us to Cllr Johnson who took the baton and made it all happen.

“None of this could have been possible without the thousands of residents who signed two petitions, and the numerous council staff and councillors who worked tirelessly to secure this fantastic new home for us, to who we are wholeheartedly thankful to.”